European Youth Weeks 2017

23 July – 5 August

By Kostas Loukopoulos

During this past summer I had the opportunity to work as a Teamer in the European Youth Weeks 2017. Through this project I gained a lot of things and I would like to share some of them here since Inter Alia was the main reason I joined by giving me this huge opportunity. In general I would like to describe this experience as life changing.

Back in June I traveled to Heppenheim and House Am Maiberg in order to attend the Preparation Meeting along with the other teamers. It was definitely a weekend to remember since it was quite intense but creative as well. During this weekend I realised that this project demanded a whole lot of work and attention to every single aspect and detail. During the sessions we exchanged ideas and opinions. Listening and interacting with all these experienced co-teamers that I am happy to call friends too was the best part and I definitely took a lot from them.

After the preparation meeting I started counting the days because I was really looking forward to the start date of the project. The day came and once again I was in my beloved Haus ready to work and have fun. Being a participant in the very same project back in 2015 helped a lot but seeing the whole thing from the teamer’s perspective was quite different and interesting. Those two weeks were definitely tiring but I wouldn’t like to spend too much time on describing the physical and mental tiredness because it was really nothing compared to the good stuff.

I have always been fond of people who combine their work with fun and I am really glad that I achieved that as well during the project. Hard work and fun can be perfectly combined if you spend the time with the right persons. Apart from fun I learned a lot of things. First of all, I learned how to cooperate with co-workers under demanding circumstances. Secondly, I learned how to be alert every single hour and have huge responsibilities. Also, I learned a lot from the topic of the project itself. I had the honour to meet a member of the European Parliament, a journalist, a hacker and visit the European Parliament and the Roma Center in Heidelberg. All these things are quite mind opening and all of them made me wiser.

Another thing that made me wiser was of course my interaction with the participants. Getting to know them, leading sessions, asking and answering questions during our activities and mostly during our free time had as a result to meet 40 very interesting people. All of them different but with many similarities as well. Things like that make you feel a European resident and a citizen of the world.

Expressing my thoughts and emotions about this whole project is as hard as the goodbye during the last day. I could possibly write pages and pages about this but I think that you get the idea. I once again thank Inter Alia for that and I hope I can experience something similar in the near future.

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